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Tehran Symphony Orchestra Cancels Performance Rather Than Ban Female Musicians

Second Nexus

[DIGEST: AFPInternational Campaign for Human Rights in IranIBT Times]

A recent concert by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled 15 minutes before it was scheduled to begin, according to Agence France-Presse. The conductor of the orchestra cited the presence of “female musicians” as the reason for the cancellation.

“The chairs were laid out and everything looked fine,” conductor Ali Rahbari told the AFP. “But before performing the national anthem, all of a sudden they announced women cannot play on stage.”

Second Nexus
Credit: Source.

The incident marks the latest in a series of stopped music performances. Artists have voiced complaints about last-minute cancellations that have been enforced despite the events having been approved through official channels. Iranian composer Kayhan Kalhor has stated he will not perform in Iran again following the cancellation of his concert with the American string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, which was called off due to “security reasons.”

“These concerts will not be rescheduled. So long as Iran’s culture and arts are hostages in the ransom-taking and power struggles of political factions and no clear guidelines are defined and enforced for such activities, I will refrain from doing anything in Iran,” Kalhor told the Moosighiye Ma website.

Just 15 minutes before the orchestra was scheduled to play the country’s national anthem, authorities voiced objections to the female musicians’ attire, specifically that they were not wearing appropriate hijab. Rahbari chose to cancel the concert rather than

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  • Carey Purcell is a New York-based writer, reporter and theater critic. She covers the New York theat... keep reading